Breaking the code mock hero 2
The investigation is based on interviews with workers in Chile, Panama and Colombia

New report exposes DHL’s systematic rule breaking

A new report released today has found global logistics giant DHL guilty of breaking its own – and international – rules on the way its workers are treated.

The independent investigation www.breaking-the-code.org carried out in Chile, Colombia and Panama, exposes serious abuses and failings in the way the German-based multinational behaves. It follows similar findings in previous research carried out at DHL sites in India and Turkey.

The shock report is released as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) talks between DHL and the global unions comes to an end, and puts the company on the spot.

Steve Cotton, general secretary of the ITF, said: “These talks have failed to improve conditions for DHL workers. While we were negotiating in good faith, DHL was continuing to treat its workers in a way that breaches international standards. It’s time for DHL to engage in a robust, transparent process in consultation with staff and their unions to improve working conditions at the company and ensure freedom of association for all of its workers worldwide.”

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, said: “DHL has been found out. We now have proof that it’s breaking its own much-trumpeted code of conduct – and that the management in Bonn know it. People in Germany, and around the the world, will be shocked that a key German company is treating staff in this abhorrent manner. It’s time for DHL to get its house in order.”

The report includes the story of a worker who sustained chronic injuries due to poor training, the case of 42 workers sacked for union activity, evidence of DHL faking a customer letter to fire the son of a union official, claims that DHL monitors employees conversations and evidence that DHL intercepts union members’ phone calls

“The company’s code should make DHL a beacon of good conduct in Latin America”, said the reports author, Dr Victor Figueroa Clark of the London School of Economics. “Sadly, the evidence from the workers I interviewed for my report paints an overwhelmingly different picture.

“The multiple, frequent and institutional anti-union practices described in this report are difficult to interpret as anything but the result of an anti-union policy originating from the heart of the company in Germany”

After previous investigations, in 2013 the German government accepted a complaint by the ITF and UNI Global Union that Deutsche Post-DHL had breached OECD guidelines. This led to two years of talks that concluded in December and were reviewed today.  DHL’s conduct continues to be such that there is no meaningful change in the company's approach to labour relations.

Attached with this release is a media summary of the report, the executive summary and the report itself.

The ITF is working to raise standards for all DHL workers. For more background see here and #RespectAtDHL.

For more information contact Andy Khan-Gordon on tel: +44 (0)20 7940 9282 / +44 (0)7968 274 211. Email: khan-gordon_andy@itf.org.uk

ENDS